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Create an Inviting Entryway

by Carole McCray

First impressions are important.  How a person speaks or the firmness of a handshake creates an impression.   And so it is with the entry landscaping which is the first part of a home viewed by visitors.  To make a good impression, the front entrance should create a welcome feeling with a design for enhancing the home.


For an informal effect, plan for the front walk to follow a gently, curving path from the street or driveway and across part of the front lawn. 

For a formal look, position the walkway in a straight line from the street or at a right angle to the driveway.

Plant large areas on each side of the walk near the house, street, or driveway, and fill them with low shrubs, groundcovers, annuals, and perennials.

Avoid planting a hedge or lining up a row of shrubs on each side of the walk.  This gives a cramped appearance.

Create a landing at least 6x6 at the main entry door.  The landing should be extended about 1˝ feet on each side of the doorjamb so visitors have ample room to stand.

For a dramatic entrance, a patio-like landing or courtyard can be added in front of the main entryway.  To achieve a transition from outdoors to indoors, this area can be enclosed with a low wall or fence.

On the main entryway landing or at wide points in the walk, position flower planters.

Place an arbor or trellis in front of the house over the walk.  Plant flowering annual climbers--vining black-eyed Susan, morning glory, or sweet pea.  Try perennial flowering vines--clematis, wisteria, honeysuckle, or trumpet vine.


Think about the entire front yard when you plan a welcoming front entrance.

Try to avoid foundation planting; this is the seldom changing, year long display of only evergreen foliage that hugs the house.

Your local Growise Center will be able to advise you with alternatives to foundation planting.

To complement your home design, consider the style of your home—is it traditional and formal, or is it casual and informal.

Evergreen shrubs like boxwood, holly, juniper, yew, false cypress, or arborvitae are well suited for a formal design home.

Groundcovers can extend into the lawn area.  Pachysandra, myrtle, and creeping juniper are attractive in a formal landscape.

Informal designs avoid formally clipped evergreens.  Deciduous shrubs like bayberry, red-osier dogwood, viburnum, winged euonymus, and bayberry, need little pruning; bonuses are colorful foliage, berries, and bark.

The area often used for foundation planting and the lawn can become the spot for a new garden.  Instead of a lineup of evergreens along the foundation, plant a mix of evergreens and deciduous shrubs.

Allow perennials, masses of spring bulbs, and other seasonal bulbs to takeover the area normally reserved for lawn.

Include deciduous flowering shrubs and even small trees if space permits.

Underplant shrubs and perennials with an evergreen groundcover.

Use an attractive mulch to complement your plantings.


Plant flowers around the mailbox; vining flowers climbing the post are pretty.

Place an antique wheelbarrow out front and fill it with seasonal blooms—I like potted primroses in the spring; containers of flowering annuals in the summer; Indian corn, pumpkins, potted mums, and bittersweet for fall, and Christmas greens and holly for a winter welcome.

Plant some lovely perennials such as roses, peonies, or irises along the driveway.

Plant vines to grow up a lampost.

Plant window boxes with flowers and trailing vines and mount boxes on porch railings or on or just below windowsills.

Plant a small flowerbed next to the driveway entrance.

Create a cottage-like, dooryard garden near the front door.

Plant flowers in the grassy area between the sidewalk and street.

Create a sense of welcome with a decorative driveway.  If affordable, consider paving your driveway with bricks, cobblestone, or bricklike interlocking pavers.              

Whether it is meeting people or having visitors to our home, making a good impression is important.  For achieving an inviting, welcoming impression to your home, your Growise staff will help you create an entryway that says, “welcome.”

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